Peterloo Massacre Bicentenary: March for Democracy

On the 16th August 1819 at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, armed cavalry charged into a crowd of some 60,000 – 80,000 peaceful protesters who had travelled from all across Greater Manchester to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. This event became known in history as the Peterloo Massacre and this year we are commemorating its bicentenary.

As part of the remembrance there will be a number of events taking place which people from across Greater Manchester and the UK are strongly encouraged to attend. This year, Saturday 17th August has been chosen as the date for those people who wish to replicate the original journeys taken by those peaceful protesters some 200 years ago. If you are interested in participating in the walks you should refer to this website for details of the starting points for each contingent.

On Sunday 18th August a march and rally has been organised by the Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils (GMATUC). You can join this march by assembling at one of the ten different starting locations close to Manchester city centre.

North West UNISON are asking all UNISON members to assemble at Hornby Street, off Bury New Road, Manchester for 11:30am. Anyone else who is travelling down from the North Manchester, Prestwich and Bury area are encouraged to join the march here as well. For those of you living in South Manchester it might be easier for you to assemble at 11:30am in Whitworth Park, adj Oxford Road, Manchester. This assembly point and march is being organised by members of Manchester TUC, and the NEU in particular. In addition PCS members are being asked to join here and the ever popular PCS Samba band will be setting the beat for the marchers on Oxford Road.

For details of the other starting locations in Manchester you should refer to the Facebook event page here. Don’t worry if you are unable to assemble at the official starting point for UNISON members as we will all end up at the same place so you can meet with friends who started the march from elsewhere. All marchers from their respective assembly points are aiming to reach Albert Square, Manchester for the rally at 1:00pm where there will be a number of guest speakers from a range of organisations.

These will include:

Matt Wrack (General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union)
Julie Ward MEP (North West Labour MEP)
Ian Hodson (President, Bakers, Food & Allied Workers’ Union)

Lynn Collins (Regional Secretary, North West TUC)
Owen Winter (Director, Make Votes Matter)
Marlene Walker (NHS Worker & Campaigner)

Pete Middleman (NW National Education Union)
Cllr Geraldine Coggins (Trafford Green Party Councillor)
Ian Allinson (President, Manchester Trades Council)

Felicity Dowling (National Secretary, Left Unity)
Mark Krantz (Peterloo Historian & Political Activist)
Paula Barker (Regional Convenor, NW Unison)

Alan Davies (The Word Newspaper & Peterloo March for Democracy Organising Committee)

Presiding: Stephen Hall (President, GMATUC)

For more information on the Peterloo Massacre in general and other events that are taking place to commemorate the occasion it is also worth visiting the website for the Peterloo Memorial Campaign.

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